Thursday, November 29, 2007
1. In case you can't see this, it is Donny Osmond underwear. Sadly enough, these were never marketed. If you want to get me these for christmas, you are going to have to make them.
2. I want a Donny Osmond doll. You can find them on E-bay...
3. Sperry Boat Shoes. I don't know what color yet or what style but I like these. sperrytopsider.com
4. I need luggage...I really like this set and you can get it all for $79.00 on clearance at bedbathandbeyond.com.
5. A Canon SD750... the sweetest camera out there. 3-inch LCD, 7.1 megapixles....
6. A Chi Hair Straightener
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I recently went to Ensenada, Mexico, to do service for the kids there. I went with an organization called Kaiizen and it was an amazing experience. Despite uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, and bad food, it was one of the most interesting things I have done.
We departed Provo on Thursday morning at 5 a.m. and headed to San Diego. Once we made it there, we all gathered together and headed to the border. The car ride down was good. I was lucky enough to snag shotgun. The other people in the car were all very interesting. Our driver, Jakapo, was one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He told us some crazy stories and about his criminal record. He is pretty much the manliest person alive.
The border between Mexico and the US is like nothing I have ever seen before. It wasn't like a wall, it was huge white poles with huge lights shining on them from the American side. Once we crossed the border, it was so strange, i didn't feel any different but I knew that I was in for some shock. There were poor people everywhere. We were on the highway and there were people standing on the side of the highway begging for money.
We drove into Mexico for about 45 minutes and found our beach. It was a really nice beach but it had a really rocky shore. We set up our tents and went to sleep. It was going to be a very exhausting weekend.
We woke up the next morning with dew all over us and our tent sopping with wonderful ocean mist. It was pretty foggy out but it was still pretty. We ate breakfast and packed up to head to the school we were working at that day.
When we arrived at the school I was kind of embarrassed because none of the kids spoke English. I know enough Spanish to get by, but I can understand more than I can speak so communicating was a little difficult. I was a little hesitant to grab a kid by the hand and trot off to the play ground so I was going to wait until someone I knew started playing with one of the kids and join in. Just then, a little girl named Diana came and grabbed my hand and asked "Quieres jugar?" I laughed really hard and yelled "SI!" and off we went to play on the jungle gym. At the school, we put on a carnival for the kids. We had face painting, car painting, huge game of twister, scrap-booking, parachutes, and other fun games for the ninos. After we got the kids dirty with soda bottle bombs and worn out from games and water fights, we ate lunch. It was delicious. I still crave the chicken and tortillas. It was so good and we were so hungry that we at a lot. After lunch we went and played with the kids some more and then after they went home, we cleaned up the huge mess we made.
Probably the funniest thing that happened to me when I was at the school was when this little girl came up to me in the bathroom and said to me in Spanish "your eyes are huge." As if I didn't know this already. Haha. It was funny because I tried to ask her if it was a good thing or a bad thing but she looked at me like I was not speaking her language so I gave up and told her to have a good day.
After we finished up at the school, we went to El Sauzal, the orphanage where we would spend the night and the next day. It was really different. I had never been to an orphanage before and I was surprised at what it was like. It was like a house, but bigger, and broken up into a few different buildings. It had a girls dormitory, and a boys dormitory, a baby house, and then the owners living quarters. It wasn't super nice but it was clean and inviting. There are about 40 kids at El Sauzal. There are lots of little babies and high-school aged kids too. I would say that the mojority of the kids there were between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. They are all there for different reasons but one thing is for sure, they are loved by the man who runs the orphanage, Rufo. He talked to us about the rules and expressed his gratitude for our service there. He really acts like a dad to all of the kids.
While we were at the orphanage, we painted the inside of the dental clinic they have there, we painted a wall in the play ground, and we also painted a Chivas logo on the soccer court. Those kids are so amazing at soccer. It is was so cool to watch them play. They are so talented. It was interesting to see one of the boy's desire to be a professional soccer player. They are taught that just because they are orphans, doesn't mean that they can't accomplish their goals.
Before dinner we just hung out with the kids and played games we had brought for them. We made play dough volcanoes with them and played jump rope. I met this one girl who was 14 years old. She was so funny. I taught her to say "I am Carmen." I wasn't sure how long she had been there but she was helping out in the baby room a lot. All the kids loved her. For dinner we had hamburgers, pudding, apple sauce, and chips
After dinner, Jakapo started a fire with his bare hands... yeah, like I said, the manliest man ever. Then we went to sleep in tents in the orphanage parking lot.We woke up the next morning and ate breakfast. It was pancakes. I don't really like pancakes but it was good because I was starving. We packed up our stuff and left the orphanage and went back to the school for a long day of service. While we were there, we painted a mural, planted a garden, cleaned out a huge hole filled with trash, put in two handicap ramps, and swept the entire play ground. I was in charge of the mural and the design turned out really cool. It was like blocks fading into a jungle scene. For lunch we went to a taco stand at the end of the street. It was so good. I love real Mexican food. I used to think that real Mexican food was not as good as taco bell. I was way wrong. Authentic Mexican food is amazing!
After a long day at the school, we left to go to Ensendada. It was out of control there. People were everywhere and there were huge cruise ships in the harbor. The first thing we did as grab some food. We ate at this taco place that was pretty good. It was called "Tacos Del Sol." Food is really cheap there and I love their tacos. Then after eating, my friend Kymee and I went shopping! I tried to get some cool stuff for Christmas gifts but we were cut really short on time so I was only able to get a couple things. I bargained with this old lady for Jesse's Christmas present for the majority of the time spent in Ensenada but I finally was able to get the priceless possession for a decent price. I also had a man make me a bracelet that says "Kaiizen" on it. I like this word because it is a japaneese word that means to be continually making improvements.
After shopping for about 15 minutes we headed back to the car to go to the beach where we camped the first night and tried to go swimming. The tide was really high so we ended up not going but it was still nice to be able to sit and relax a little bit.
For dinner that night we had J-Dawgs. I normally love J-Dawgs but these were disgusting. The buns had been lost, and the hot dogs had been sitting in a cooler for three days and I think it was just a bad idea. I went to sleep that night feeling like I had eaten a pound of raw meat.
We woke up the next morning at 5 a.m. and packed up to leave. It was a long drive back but we stopped at Denny's in mesquite to get some lunch. The wind coming through San Diego was so bad. There was a semi truck on its side on the free-way. Those same winds played a huge part in the fires that started just after we passed through. We finally made it back to Provo around 9:00 p.m. that night.
It was great to be back but it was a much needed trip. I met a lot of really awesome people and I was able to take part in serving people who are in need of all the help they can get. Thank you to everyone who helped me to go on this trip. It was an adventure I will never forget!